Rising rent crisis: Tenants struggle to keep up as costs skyrocket

November 2, 2017 - 2 min read

The rent race

If low mortgage rates weren’t enough to push you toward home buying, the latest analysis by Apartment List might be. According to the site’s data, rising rents are causing almost 20 percent of today’s renters to struggle with monthly payments.

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Tenants in trouble

For its analysis, Apartment List surveyed more than 41,000 renters across the country on rental insecurity issues – namely, their ability to pay or not pay their rent.

What the analysis revealed was pretty astounding. Apparently, it’s not just America’s lower-earning residents who are having trouble keeping up with rents. Those higher on the income spectrum are, too.

In fact, around 10 percent of renters earning $60,000 a year or more have been unable to make at least one month’s rent this year. For those making $30,000 or less, that share jumps to 27.5 percent.

Advice for renters: What do I do when my roommate moves out (and I'm not on the lease)?

Difficult payments and evictions are most prevalent in the South and Midwest, according to the analysis. Phoenix and Memphis, Tennessee both show eviction rates of around 6 percent.

“With data on millions of users across the nation, we are able to estimate eviction rates at the local level for metros across the country,” Apartment List reported.

“We find that many of the metros with the highest eviction rates are located throughout the South and Midwest, while perhaps surprisingly, more expensive coastal metros tend to have lower eviction rates.”

Rising rents: a problem for everyone

The problem lies in skyrocketing rents, according to Apartment List. And while the Census Bureau’s latest data shows incomes and wages on the rise, it’s still not enough.

“For years, rent growth has outpaced wage growth, and a severe lack of affordable housing affects many parts of the country,” Apartment List reported.

How to buy a house with low income

“Although programs, such as Section 8, provide assistance for low-income renters, these programs are underfunded, and only a small share of those eligible for benefits actually receive them.”

Get out of the rent race

Ready to get out of the rent race? Today’s low mortgage rates may mean buying a home is more affordable than renting. Shop around and see what rates you’re eligible for today.

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Aly J. Yale
Authored By: Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor
Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston who has contributed to Forbes and worked for organizations such as The Dallas Morning News, PBS, NBC, and Radio Disney.